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Business Groups Oppose California’s Cap and Trade Auction

Aired 10/2/12 on KPBS News.

California business leaders urged the California Air Resources Board to stop the planned auction part of the state’s cap and trade program.

California business leaders Tuesday urged the California Air Resources Board to stop the planned auction part of the state’s cap and trade program.

Under the program, regulated companies must buy one “allowance” for every ton of carbon dioxide it emits. ARB plans to sell those allowances at a November auction with part of the proceeds going to clean air programs.

Allan Zaremburg with the California Chamber of Commerce said businesses have been mischaracterized as opposing the entire cap and trade program.

“What the California Air Resources Board wants to do unfortunately is sell these allowances, in other words, impose at tax on carbon that will be used for other purposes," said Zaremburg. "They are completely unnecessary to achieving the goals of AB 32, that’s what we’re opposed to.”

Businesses want the allowances given to them for free.

The California Air Resources Board said ninety percent of the allowances will be free in the first two years; giving businesses more would result in windfall profits.

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